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Hammock Skipper up high on Candy Corn Plant | by jungle mama
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Hammock Skipper up high on Candy Corn Plant

Albert and I were walking at Fairchild Garden enjoying a warm sunny Florida morning when I caught a glimpse of these Candy Corn sprays flying high over the Vine Pergola! They were waving and wandering, their looped ends balancing and rebalancing in the sun and breeze.

 

Fairchild Garden has a lengthy pergola built during the Roosevelt Administration that is covered in flowering vines and plants most of the year. Candy Corn, purple Clock Vine, pink Shower of Orchids.

 

Wagatea spicata is a robust woody climbing vine or small tree 10-20 ft. It grows in full sun and semi-shade and attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

 

The roots of Wagata spicata are used to treat and pulmonary tuberculosis.Wagatea spicata is a robust woody climbing vine or small tree 10-20 ft. It grows in full sun and semi-shade and attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The roots of W.spicat ahave are used to treat and pulmonary tuberculosis.

 

Like other skipper butterflies, this Hammock Skipper (Polygonus leo) has a plump body and a large head and eyes, all of which give it a rather moth-like appearance.

 

The ventral hindwing is patterned in brown and covered with a faint light blue sheen. There is a distinctive black dot near the base of the ventral hindwing. The dorsal wing surfaces are dark brown with three large, white squares on the forewings.

 

Hammock Skippers range from Argentina through Central America into parts of the western and southern United States. Hammock Skippers are a characteristic species of the hardwood hammocks (small hills with hardwood trees in marshes or wetlands) of Florida, which is where these butterflies get their common name.

 

While adult Hammock Skippers feed on flower nectar, the caterpillars feed on various plants in the Pea family (Fabaceae).

 

Hammock Skipper, Polygonus leo

Wagatea spicata, Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae / Caesalpiniaceae

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami FL

www.susanfordcollins.com

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Taken on January 2, 2012